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  • Writer's pictureChurch of St. Mark

Fatima Home Visits

Updated: Oct 7, 2022

The Legion of Mary is celebrating May (the Month of Mary) by organizing home visits for a statue of Our Lady of Fatima. Will you welcome Our Lady into your home?

The purpose of the Pilgrim Virgin Statue tours is to bring the graces of Fatima and Our Lady’s message of hope, peace and salvation to those who don’t have an opportunity to make a pilgrimage to Fatima itself. This tradition has been going on for over 70 years, and is a

great way to grow in love--both as individual families and together as a Parish family--for Our Lady.

The Legion will help you welcome her and will provide instructional materials and resources for discovering the message of Our Lady of Fatima. We will begin home visitations in the month of Mary (May) with sign up after Masses May 7th and 8th.

A short history about this pious tradition is below.

The Original Statue

The beautiful image of Our Lady of Fatima was designed by famous sculptor José Thedim

in 1920. The Bishop of Fatima entrusted the image to John Haffert, co-founder of the Blue

Army, and prayed that Mary herself accompany the statue wherever it goes. It has traveled

around the globe many times for more than 70 years.

An uninterrupted flow of graces and favors have been reported wherever the statue has

traveled, including physical cures (which can only be officially pronounced by Church

authorities), and numerous conversions.

The purpose of the Pilgrim Virgin Statue tours was and still is to bring the graces of Fatima

and Our Lady’s message of hope, peace and salvation to those many millions of people

who may never have an opportunity to make a pilgrimage to Fatima itself. Many copies of

the statue continue to travel in local areas.

“In 1946, I crowned Our Lady of Fatima as Queen of the World and the following year,

through the Pilgrim Virgin, She set forth as though to claim Her dominion, and the favors She performs along the way are such that we can hardly believe what we are seeing with our eyes.”

–Pope Pius XII

Another Statue

Fr. Thomas McGlynn (1906-1977) was an American Dominican priest and

sculptor. In his book, Vision of Fatima, he gives his first-hand account of working

under the direction of Sr. Lucia, the last surviving witness to the 1917 Marian

apparitions in Fatima, as she guided him in perfecting the famed statue of Our Lady

of Fatima.

Sr. Lucia insisted Our Lady's hands be positioned just so, the tunic fall exactly the

way she remembered, the star placed on the proper spot on the tunic, and the ball of

light around her neck reaching almost to her waist. She would make corrections as

Fr. Tom worked, and at times would even take one of the tools and make changes to

his model.

The statue was presented as a gift from the Catholic people of the United States to

the Sanctuary of Fátima in 1958. It stands, centered, above the entrance to the

basilica at Fatima.

Miracles, Graces, and Favors Received

Physical cures attributed to the presence of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue

of Our Lady of Fatima have been documented many times, including changes in

expression and coloration, and even the pose of the statue.

The important miracles, however, are the spiritual cures and gifts Our Lady bestows, for example, the sudden conversion of a stubborn heretic, or the enlightenment of someone who has resisted the idea of statues, or the idea of praying to saints.

On the occasion of the Eucharistic Congress that took place in Lourdes, France in 1981, the statue remained overnight at the convent in Coimbra, Portugal, at Sister Lucia’s request. She remarked afterwards that she had never seen any image which so resembled the actual apparition of Our Lady.

John Haffert reported in his book, “Her Own Words”: “I do not hesitate to say that I myself have seen that image change its appearance. On more than thirty occasions the statue has shed tears and once I myself wiped a tear from its cheek. That Lucia found the image “so much like Our Lady” is remarkable. I have never doubted that when Lucia had the Pilgrim Virgin statue in the Coimbra convent overnight, through the miraculous image Our Lady gave her again the experience of Her “presence,” even as She conveyed this sense of Her “presence” to others all around the world through this miraculous image.”

The Crown

The symbol of the power of the Crown, which Our Lady of Fatima displays, didn’t appear with Her at the time of the apparition to the little shepherds of Fatima. The creation of these crowns, only copies, dates back to 1941, when a group of Portuguese women carried out a national campaign gathering jewelry to manufacture a queen’s crown intended to be offered to Our Lady of Fatima, in thanksgiving for the fact that Portugal didn’t enter the Second World War. They asked for jewelry and not money, to materialize the crown directly with the gifts of each person.

This gathering resulted in a significant amount of gold, silver and precious stones that were delivered to Casa Leitão & Irmão, the former royal crown jewelers, for its production. As the generosity of the offers was so great, in the year of 1942, the jewelers prepared for free, two crowns: one in silver gilt and another in gold and precious stones. Both were queen’s crowns, as

Our Lady had been crowned Queen of Portugal in 1646, by D. João IV.

For three months, 12 jewelers/goldsmiths worked on the crowns, according to drawings created by Casa Leitão, which highlight eight rods of gold, corresponding heraldically to a queen's crown. The golden crown, that weights 1200g, is enriched by 2,992 precious stones, including 1400

diamonds, 950 rhinestones, 313 pearls, 260 turquoises, 33 sapphires, 17 rubies, 13 small emerald, a big emerald, an amethyst and four aquamarines that form the four large rectangular transparent buds at the base of the crown.

This grand and glorious work resulted in a precious work of the Portuguese Jewelery known as the "Crown of Our Lady of Fatima", which is the most remarkable work of twentieth century Portuguese jewelery and simultaneously the best known worldwide.

The Bullet

“On May 13, 1981, on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, John Paul II was shot three times by an assassin. One bullet entered his body, missing an important artery by a fraction of an inch. The doctors couldn’t figure it out because the bullet seemed to have veered away from its intended path at just that point thus saving the pope’s life. Pope John Paul II later witnessed that he believed the Blessed Mother herself intervened to save his life. “The doctors removed the bullet from his body and when he recovered, he went to Fatima and celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving and placed the bullet that had nearly killed him in the crown of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal where it remains to this day. So, if you get a good sized image of Our Lady of Fatima you will see the bullet in the crown. “Incidentally, John Paul’s was not the only life saved. The assassin, Mehmet Ali Agca, was wrestled to the ground by no less than a Catholic nun! He was arrested and imprisoned and Pope John Paul later visited him in jail and forgave him. He learned later that his accomplices waiting in a getaway van close by St Peter’s Square had orders to kill him

once he got in the van. “This is the way of mercy. But God’s providence not only was the pope’s life saved, but his would be assassin’s life was saved and he eventually received God’s forgiveness. So when you see the bullet in the crown remember God is not disengaged from this world. He is active redeeming and saving that which was lost, and Lady Mary is his great

helper in the battle.” --Fr. Dwight Longenecker

The Supreme Pontiff met with the then Bishop of Fatima, D. Alberto Cosme do Amaral, and offered the bullet fired by the Turkish Ali Agca and pierced his body in the attack that was victim, as gratitude to the Virgin for save his life, and said at the time "I have here a gift to Our Lady".

On March 25th, 1984, Pope John Paul II requested the statue be brought from Fatima to St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, before which he then Consecrated the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The “Mystery” of the Crown

After some time looking for the best place to store such a precious object, the Bishop and the Sanctuary’s Parson decided to imbed it in the Crown of Our Lady, which is used only in the most solemn ceremonies. Casa Gomes, from Póvoa de Varzim, was entrusted to carry out its placement. When the experts were placing the bullet in the Virgin’s Crown and were looking for a place to fit it without compromising the art of the Crown, they discovered that, interestingly in the inside of the original manufacture of the crown, in 1942, and on the place where are joined the eight queen rods, immediately beneath the sky blue orb, was formed a void that was the perfect fit for the exact caliber of the bullet. So it was placed there by crimping in 1989, where it remains today. If you look closely, you can see it, pointing downward, just beneath the blue orb on top of the crown. This is the amazing “coincidence” attributed to the mystery surrounding the crown of Our Lady of Fatima and the special relationship that John Paul II had with Marian phenomenon.

The Berlin Wall

At the entrance to the Fátima Sanctuary, to the south of the rectory, is a segment of the Berlin Wall. It is a piece of the wall which was built in Berlin on the night of the 12th of August, 1961, and which divided the city for almost thirty years. It was demolished in November 1989, many believe due to the prayers of the Rosary and the Consecration of the World to Our Lady, made by the Holy Father in 1984. This piece, which weighs 2.6 tons and measures 3.6 by 1.2 meters, was a gift of a Portuguese person living in Germany. This Monument of the Berlin Wall was blessed on August 13, 1994.

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